Rating:

roseblood book coverReviewed by Sarah Lelonek

Some books speak to me. I can relate with every character and I get sucked into the world the author creates. However, for many reasons, I was not enthralled with RoseBlood by A. G. Howard. In fact, I felt like it was a chore to even finish the book.

The novel is a modern day retelling of the Phantom of the Opera. Rune, a siren of sorts, has no idea why music moves her like it does. She feels like melodies, especially operas, need to be “purged” from her body within hours of being heard. After her father’s death and her mother’s decision to remarry, Rune is sent to a school for opera and theater in France. The school inhabits an old opera house, where it is rumored the original phantom of the opera resides. Except it’s not just the original phantom but also his ward, Thorn, who has been expecting Rune for years.

If I were to look at just the prose, this novel was very well-written. The descriptions of music and the opera house itself really attempt to transport the reader to a French opera house. However, I felt that there was too much description at times and not enough original story. I found myself speed-reading trying to find an ounce of a new and exciting plot. Aside from a few new details you essentially have a phantom of sorts who needs a siren to sustain himself, and yes, they fall in love.

I think what bothered me most about this book is that I wanted to love it and never could find myself doing so. I feel like the author needed less writing about the effects of Rune’s singing and more singing. I would say over half the book is description, which can lead readers like me wondering what actually happened in the 400-some pages action-wise.

Like I said before, I think the author knew how to write in a grammatical sense but I was not feeling the tone of the book. I grew up playing music and watching musicals. I have always had a moderate interest in the opera and adore the original phantom tale. I just wished there was a little more excitement behind RoseBlood to keep me entertained.


Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is currently enrolled at Tiffin University in their Master’s of Education program. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Amulet Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.